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Apple TV's 'Home Before Dark' Well Worth Adding to Your Watch List
April 2, 2020  | By David Hinckley  | 1 comment
 


I have seen the future of journalism, and her name is Hilde Lisko.  

Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration. But Hilde (Brooklynn Prince, top, center), the star of the new Apple TV+ series Home Before Dark, is a sparkling bright spot for a profession that’s had a rough time in the 21st century.

Home Before Dark, whose ten episodes become available Friday on the streaming service, positions Hilde as a 9-year-old journalist who wades into a murder case that grown-ups won’t touch.

Eventually, as you can probably guess, she drags them all into the swamp they created and then tried to ignore. 

Hilde is the middle daughter of Matthew Lisko (Jim Sturgess) and Bridget Jensen (Abby Miller). Dad is a reporter for the Brooklyn Sentinel, and Hilde is his daughter all the way. She says she was born with ink in her veins. She loves going out with Dad on stories, including grisly crimes, and she edits her own neighborhood newspaper, circulation about a hundred. 

Mainly, she has reporter instincts. She’s curious about everything. She asks questions constantly. Why did this happen? Why did that person do this? What’s that car doing circling our block?

Life is pretty reasonable until Matthew gets fired, for reasons that are unclear and a little troubling, and the family has to move cross-country to Erie Harbor, her Dad’s cleverly named hometown.

Erie Harbor looks like quintessential small-town America, encased in a time capsule from the mythic good old days, and naturally, that means it has disturbing secrets. 

Oh yeah, and Dad had sworn for years he would never move back there. Hmmmm.

The Liskos are barely unpacked before Hilde starts looking around, noticing things, and asking questions. Before the end of the first episode, she has poked her nose into a drama the town has been trying to bury, and once her nose is there, the rest of Hilde is going to follow. 

If the setup for Home Before Dark unfolds rapidly, the rest requires some time. While the plot might sound like the sort of thing that could be wrapped up in a movie, this series stretches it out in a long ride, lots of twists, flashbacks, and suspense. 

Home Before Dark has some elements of those wonderful and often overlooked Nickelodeon dramas wherein kids are way smarter and more interesting than grown-ups think. That includes not just Hilde but her older sister Izzy (Kylie Rogers) and the small posse she assembles at a school that, on the whole, regards Hilde as strange.

But Home Before Dark is only incidentally a kid drama. It’s about grown-ups, and a town, and human behavior at its best and worst. Policewoman Trip Johnson (Aziza Scott), for instance, understands what Hilde is doing and why. That’s not a unanimous response among local law enforcement. 

Or at Hilde’s school, where principal Kim Collins (Joelle Carter) may not be all she seems. On the other hand, Hilde’s Mom, a former public defender, becomes a valuable ally even while she has some reservations about a 9-year-old plunging into investigative reporting that could involve squirrely characters. 

Led by a terrific performance from Prince, Home Before Dark is well worth adding to your spring playlist. 

 
 
 
 
 
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1 Comments
 
 
Zeke
I know that few of us are appointment viewers--
However, when shows are not dropped in entirety, and require weekly watch, it is helpful to know what day they refresh.
Would you consider including that at beginning or end of an article?
(I saw Episode 1, but have no idea when #2 is ready?)
Apr 10, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
 
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